East Ventures Leads TreeDots Funding, Presents ‘Social Commerce’
A Singaporean social-commerce startup for groceries, TreeDots, announced a series A funding round of $11 million led by Amasia and East Ventures. Other investors who joined were ACTIVE Fund, Seeds Capital, writer Nir Eyal, and actress Fiona Xie.
This funding will be used for platform development, optimization of the company’s food logistics, TreeLogs and regional expansion, having entered Malaysia last year. No mention of the next country targeted.
TreeDots Co-founder & CEO Tylor Jong said his party was in the middle of deeper discussions regarding the plan. “We have plans to expand our regional coverage and we are in the middle of understanding [the next country] where it will make sense for us,” Jong said.
This company was founded in 2018 by Tylor Jong, Nicholas Lim and Lau Jia Cai. The company is a marketplace for surplus and imperfect foodstuffs, in response to the problem of wasted food, especially food that can be consumed but thrown away.
Creating Technology to Help Redistribute Inventory from Suppliers
The company’s technology helps to redistribute unsold inventory from suppliers to businesses such as restaurants and cafes, enabling them to get food supplies at affordable prices.
Around a third of all food that are produced for consumption is wasted globally. In Asia,inefficient supply chains is the main cause of this problem.
Foods that are not aesthetically perfect are often dumped in landfills, even though they are still as fresh and nutritious as foods that are commonly found on grocery store shelves.
This surplus food is often burned or left to rot, producing methane and other greenhouse gases that have an 86 times more harmful impact on global warming than carbon dioxide.
The target users of the TreeDots platform are F&B franchises and social commerce to accommodate group purchasing needs. Thus, consumers can buy the same product at a greater discounted price.
The company sends multiple orders at once to a single address and group buyers can pick up their individual orders.
This move allows buyers to save on logistics costs, as well as reduce emissions when compared to traditional e-commerce models that require a special journey for each order shipped.
On the sales side, prior to joining TreeDots, suppliers often paid for a delivery service to send their waste to a landfill.
With TreeDots, they can now earn additional income from these materials and feel satisfied that they can help preserve the earth.
They recently launched TreeLogs, a cold-chain logistics offering that improves the efficiency of suppliers’ operations processes.
This vertically integrated ecosystem allows upstream suppliers to focus their efforts on their area of excellence, namely food processing and production.
“Food wasted problem is already a trillion-dollar issue around the world, the fact that suppliers are starting to use TreeDots’ system not only for the leftovers but also for their entire income, excites us,” said East Ventures Managing Partner Roderick Purwana.
If one of their trucks can make one delivery to an area, TreeDots can make five deliveries on the same trip by working with the entire supplier group.
The increased network density allows for reduced logistics costs and emission levels. The GMV of ThreeDots has grown more than 4 times (yoy).
“There are a lot of businesses serving the F&B industry that is having a hard time during the pandemic. However, we’re very impressed with ThreeDots team’s ability to drive exponential growth amid difficult circumstances,” said John Kim, Managing Partner of Amasia.
As TreeDots business expands, the Vice President, Corporate Sustainability & Government Affairs at Lazada and Executive Board Member at Temasek Foundation Liveability, Janet Sarah Neo, will join TreeDots as a Board Observer.